About six months ago, Dale and I started laying the foundation for the successor to our popular WordPress plugin, WPtouch. We released WPtouch about two years ago, and it’s approaching around one million downloads in the WordPress repository. Aspects of it were also integrated into WordPress.com — it is the default theme on WordPress.com for iPod/iPhone mobile visitors, and represents around 60 million page views a month for mobile visitors.
WPtouch 2.0 is a fairly big upgrade to WPtouch, adding approximately 100 new features. First, we redid the entire infrastructure to make the creation of mobile themes a lot easier. By default, WPtouch 2.0 comes with two themes: Classic, meant to emulate the 1.9.x theme, and a Skeleton framework for building additional themes. We’ll also be including various other themes over time.
WPtouch 2.0 is essentially a mobile framework, which is why we also have developer packages. If you’re a developer, you can easily create a mobile theme for a particular type of device, or a theme that’s meant to be used on a set of a devices. Under the hood, the framework also supports the iPad, so it would be fairly trivial to create an iPad specific theme for a site using WPtouch 2.0 Pro. iPad support at the theme level will officially be coming very shortly.
WPtouch 2.0 Pro also supports web application mode. Basically it allows a site to be saved to the desktop and viewed in a browserless window on the iPhone. To test it out, open this site on the iPhone, click the plus sign at the bottom, and add the site to the home screen. Then, launch the website from the home screen, and it’ll open without a browser and also display a custom loading screen. Unlike the iTunes application store, which has the potential to reject applications, it’s trivial to use WPtouch 2.0 Pro to augment your site with a web application for your visitors.
Given the popularity of WPtouch, we also decided to internationalize the plugin. We’ve currently translated it into French, Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese, and translations are currently underway for Norwegian, Dutch and Portuguese.
If you’re interested in finding out more, head on over to the WPtouch 2.0 Pro for WordPress page. We have lots of big plans for WPtouch 2.0 Pro, so head on over and check it out!